In an award-winning YA fantasy debut, 16-year-old novelist Cayla Kluver brings a magical touch to an unrelentingly suspenseful coming-of-age tale. Duty-bound to wed her father's choice in successor to the throne, Princess Alera of Hytanica believes that she is being forced into the worst of all possible fates' a marriage to the arrogant and hot-tempered suitor, Steldor. When a mysterious boy from enemy Cokyri appears bearing secrets and an entirely different view of what's appropriate behavior for a young lady, Alera learns that her private desires threaten to destroy the kingdom. When Narian's shocking past comes to light, Alera finds herself in a shadowy world of palace intrigue and ancient blood feuds, facing an uncertain future with dwindling options - and must learn to decide between right and wrong all alone. Marked by witty, rapid-fire dialogue and dramatic complexity that belie the writer's age, Legacy brings a fresh, new sensibility to age-old questions of duty and inheritance and to a young's heroine's quest to find her true voice.
What to say about this book...well. I first must say this about the author: I find myself reluctant to say that she writes as maturely as an adult but that would be inaccurate, for most adults don't write this well! The most accurate praise I can give is that here, for the first time in years, I have found an author who's literary style comes closest to that of J.K. Rowling's.
If Legacy does not become just as popular as the Harry Potter books, I will be thoroughly shocked.
First of all, here is an author who has created a character that has qualities I despise and yet I do not have any regrets about reading this tale through the Princess's eyes. The Princess Alera seems incredibly real and tangible. The cast of characters are just as diverse as those you'd find in real life. And the language used is flawless! Miss Kluver knows what she's talking about.
It is hard to fix this plot into a formula. It seems so real and alive that it feels more like a mere excerpt of a young woman's life and not a lot of stale words on paper. This alone is very intriguing.
I will say that it was the knowledge of Miss Kluver's youth that made me buy this book. My library did not have it (infuriatingly enough) and so I was forced to buy it before reading it. But I knew that it would be worth the $26 I paid for it. And I was not proven wrong.
Miss Kluver's abilities inspire me as much as they discourage. I find myself feeling that I will never be able to reach the standards that Cayla Kluver has set in her writing, but I am inspired enough to try. Legacy will remain on my desk as my source of inspiration until I have finished my own novel.
Cayla Kluver has now been added to the list of authors I want to meet, that had consisted of a small handful of names before and now hold another. Just to show you the importance of this, my list is now this: J.K. Rowling, Christopher Paolini, Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, Maria V. Snyder and now Cayla Kluver. :)
I hope she finds it in her busy schedule to extend a tour date over here to Charlotte!
- pages - hardcover, 462
- published - 2009
- publisher - Amazon Encore
- genre - fantasy
- received via - Books A Million
- rating - 5/5